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Alumnus Named JCC Executive Director of Academic Innovation

Nelson J. Garifi Jr., Class of 1978, a long-time member of JCC’s administrative staff, will begin the 2014-15 academic year as JCC’s executive director of academic innovation.

According to Marilyn A. Zagora, vice president of academic affairs, Garifi’s new position will allow JCC to expand on its tradition of innovation, building on emerging opportunities for new programs and services while preserving its commitment to academic excellence.

“Innovation is reflected in JCC’s academic programs and services which have been developed over the past decades,” Dr. Zagora said. “The landscape of higher education is increasingly complex and involves more partners, enhanced technology, a broader array of target audiences, and an expanded range of learner needs.”

Garifi will continue to oversee the college’s honors program, international outreach efforts, and experiential learning offerings. In addition, he will take on administrative leadership of the College Connections program, JCC’s concurrent enrollment program offering college-level courses in regional high schools, as well as technology-enhanced instruction for the college’s online offerings, courses delivered among multiple locations using interactive television, and innovative instruction within the classroom using diverse technologies.

Garifi will collaborate with faculty to develop directions for academic programs that respond to emerging community and national needs. “A focus on systems design and development will characterize his work,” Dr. Zagora said.

“I look forward to capitalizing on innovative opportunities by working closely with faculty and others in academic leadership roles as well as other leaders throughout the college and within the communities we serve,” Garifi said.

Garifi has held a number of college-wide roles at JCC since 1981, providing leadership for community relations, alumni affairs, recruitment, marketing, and academic initiatives. A graduate of JCC and St. Bonaventure University, Garifi was previously a high school and middle school English teacher, freelance writer, and technical writer.

He is a recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and JCC’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and has been recognized by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Posted: 
Friday, August 8, 2014 - 9:31am